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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Vyshinsky finally accused the Polish representatives in the relief
organisations of espionage. Those people had already been challenged
by the N.K.V.D. with " spying on behalf of one of the Allies," but now,
for the first time3 the £ Polish spies ' in Russia were given another ' boss/
in this statement^ namely, Germany ... "It has transpired " said
Vyshinsky., " that the Polish representatives in certain localities, and a
number of the members of their staff and delegates . . . have chosen the
path of activities in espionage hostile to the U.S.S.R." The persons
guilty of these offences were arraigned for the trial which was to " establish
that the local representatives of the Embassy had conducted their es-
pionage under cover of alleged charitable activities . . . and that the
principle organisers of these criminal activities hostile to the Soviet
Union . . . were certain members of the diplomatic staff of the Embassy."
Beside these * spies ? who were " exposed and expelled " from the
U.S.S.R., other representatives of the Embassy were also accused of
having participated in criminal activities. According to Vyshinsky:
" the overwhelming majority of the ... members of the Polish Embassy
... in addition to espionage activities were engaged in ... circulation of
all kinds of slanderous rumours and fabrications hostile to the Soviet
Union ... In court the overwhelming majority of these persons . . . gave
detailed evidence elucidating the essence and methods of these activities."
Apart from these numerous accusations., there was something new in
Vyshinsky's statement regarding the deported Polish citizens in Russia,
namely^ that " the Polish families who were in the Soviet Union had been
evacuated from areas occupied by the German invaders/' but he did not
mention the fact that these particular * evacuations ' had been carried out
in 1939 and 1940 and, therefore, at the time when the Russian-German
collaboration was in full bloom. The employment of the term € evacuee '
for these deported people was, in any case, a recognition that they
had been compulsorily taken to the Soviet Union, since the Russian press
had until then referred to these people in general as e volunteers.*
To Moscow there was nothing extraordinary in Vyshinsky's statement,
Many such had been issued by the same Vyshinsky. In 1938., at the
Bukharin and his colleagues' trial, the British Government—in absentia,
of course—had also been accused in the dock of blackmailing Rakovsky,
the Soviet Ambassador in London. As was usual in Moscow, every
defendant had pleaded guilty, and Rakovsky (one of the three out of the
twenty-one accused who was not shot), questioned by Vyshinsky, enlarged
previously stated: " not a great number/* The formation of an Army Corps
composed from Poles was also later to belie this statement of Vyshinsky's.
e On April 13tha 1943, Moscow's Kosciuszko radio station stated that there were
" two million Poles in the Soviet Union." It is difficult to quote the exact number
since the only more or less authentic list showing about 1,500,000, was from the
last war. The figures according to the latest Soviet census in 1939, had been
over 500,000 and Moscow radio station, by giving this figure of two million was
revealing an increase in the number of deportees.